Chatting around a glowing fire one Boxing Day in the UK, I was sharing about my time in Papua New Guinea. While relating about the country and its culture, I also had in the back of my mind a request from the Principal at the International School where I was currently teaching. Before I left for the annual break, he mentioned about some computer information that he would be pleased to have. Could I research it for him in the UK ?
As I looked around the family group, there was a baker, a housewife, a cabinet maker, a shepherd and an overseas development worker. Thus I put the thought of asking about the computer details to the back of mind as there did not seem to be anyone in the family who was an experienced IT person.
However, I did later mention it to one of the sons, the shepherd actually, and he said “Why didn’t you ask me before? I’ve just built my own computer and can maybe help with the required information.”
Amazing! A shepherd an experienced IT person…. especially in those days back in late 70’s early ’80s. He worked on a farm with surrounding fields near to a large international computer company’s warehouse and office complex. There was the secret. He had made friends with the staff and so his interest in computers grew with leaps and bounds.
On another occasion, I was visiting friends who worked overseas. During a previous visit they has asked me if I had contacts in the printing world, as they were researching a specialised kind of printing ink. Having linked them with a person who could assist them in developing such an ink, they asked me about my latest research item. At that moment, I was searching for a person who had accurate knowledge about “formation flying” such as the Red Arrows use. Amazingly, the wife said she would phone her brother immediately as he was the chief instructor for “formation flying” in the RAF. As we spoke on the phone I was able to learn so much of value to pass on to the friend who was seeking to know more about the skills used in that area of expertise.
These incidents taught me not to assume what people know but to share with anyone I meet, as one never knows what they know….
Good networking tip I discovered in the field….